Press Release
September 18, 2008

Jinggoy urges POEA to require recruiters to adopt a code of ethics

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada proposed to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to require job recruiters to adopt a code of ethics to promote a high standard of professionalism.

Estrada said POEA should issue an order to all licensed placement agencies, including members of the Philippine Association of Services Exporters Inc. (PASEI) and Overseas Placement Association of the Philippines (OPAP), to adopt a job placement code.

He said the code of ethics would compel the recruiters to observe the highest standard of fairness, professionalism and commitment to their obligations to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Estrada, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, said the code aims to promote the government's plan to protect OFWs and ensure their welfare.

"The job placement agencies are responsible for the protection of the workers and the code will force them to adhere to the highest standard of professionalism to honor their commitment to the OFWs," Estrada stressed.

He cited his previous trip to the United Arab Emirates where many distressed OFWs were stranded after escaping from their abusive employers.

"Well, these OFWs were among the so-called runaways who escaped from their employers because they were allegedly maltreated, they were not paid with their salaries indicated in their contracts, and the placement agencies abandoned them after they earned from the deployment of the poor workers," Estrada said.

Estrada said the common problems of the stranded workers include the lack of funds to buy their plane tickets to go home to the Philippines and their former employers refused to release their passports and other travel documents.

He said the government should require job recruiters to assume the responsibility to protect OFWs that they deploy abroad.

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